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Part of the Picture

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) | University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)

The Part of the Picture (POTP) research project was a five-year partnership between The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), funded by the Big Lottery Fund's research programme between 2009-2014. POTP had three main aims:

  • The establishment of an England-wide database of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people’s drug and alcohol use
  • The use of the database to directly inform local and national policy and practice in addressing the drug and alcohol use of LGB people
  • An improved knowledge and understanding of the needs of LGB drug and alcohol users amongst drug and alcohol agencies, through dissemination of the research findings

The study found evidence of significant problematic substance use among the LGB community:

  • Across all age groups LGB people are much more likely to use drugs than the general population
  • Problematic patterns of drinking are much more common among LGB people
  • LGB people demonstrate a higher likelihood of being substance dependent and show high levels of substance dependency
  • Those scoring as substance dependent are more likely to seek help, although from informal sources rather than specialist services
  • A third of respondents who scored as substance dependent would not seek information, advice or treatment, even if they were worried about their drug or alcohol use
  • LGB people may be more vulnerable to developing dependent and problematic relationships with drugs and alcohol
  • Significant barriers exist to seeking information, advice or help among LGB people

A suite of reports present the study’s findings and detail the methodology and sample. Briefing sheet (downloads) set out recommendations for commissioners and policy makers, GPs, drug and alcohol service providers, researchers, and the LGBT voluntary and community sector to tackle this significant public health issue.

Part of the Picture: LGB people's drug and alcohol use in England | LGF/ UCLan

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